Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of British Columbia
December 4, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
The Honourable Janet Winteringham, a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. Justice Winteringham replaces Justice G.M. Dickson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective December 1, 2022.
“I wish Justice Winteringham every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve British Columbians well as a member of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia.”
—The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Winteringham was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2017. She attended Simon Fraser University and earned a B.A. in 1987 and a LL.B. from the University of British Columbia in 1991. She was admitted to the Bar of British Columbia in 1992.
At the time of her appointment to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Justice Winteringham practised criminal and constitutional law at Winteringham MacKay Law Corporation. Her litigation practice had started at a medium-sized firm in Vancouver and consisted predominantly of civil litigation matters. She then cultivated a criminal law practice in a small partnership with J.J. McIntyre. Although the focus of her practice was criminal defence, she had regularly acted for the Crown as an ad hoc and special prosecutor. In 2009, Justice Winteringham was appointed King’s Counsel, and in 2014, she was appointed a fellow of the International Society of Barristers.
Justice Winteringham had also served as an adjunct professor at UBC, a frequent lecturer at law conferences, and a discussion leader at the Inns of Court session addressing ethical problems in criminal law. In 2012 and 2013, she travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to assist with the training of judges, prosecutors, police and public defenders, as part of a program developed by the Justice Education Society focusing on the investigation, prosecution and defence of offences relating to gender-based violence.
The Government of Canada has appointed more than 675 judges since November 2015. The Honourable Arif Virani has made 49 appointments since becoming Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on July 26, 2023. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of racialized persons, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQI+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.
To support the needs of the courts and improve access to justice for all Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to increasing the capacity of superior courts. Budget 2022 provides for 22 new judicial positions, along with two associate judges at the Tax Court of Canada. Along with the 13 positions created under Budget 2021, this makes a total of 37 newly created superior court positions. Since Budget 2017, the government has funded 116 new judicial positions.
Changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments were announced in September 2022. The questionnaire continues to provide for a robust and thorough assessment of candidates but has been streamlined and updated to incorporate, among other things, more respectful and inclusive language for individuals to self-identify diversity characteristics.
Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.
The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.
Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016.
The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code that came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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